Focusing on Healthier Concession Stands with Community Partners
Earlier this year, the Raritan Valley YMCA reported that a tool kit was developed to promote healthy concessions. Since then the tool kit has been sent to active county agencies and health partners to distribute. The tool kit contains and MOU with a choice of policy change statements to be signed by concession operators. The suggested policies called for the reduction of sugar sweet snacks and beverages and fried foods, while supporting the sale of baked chip products, no sugar sweet beverages, increased used of whole wheat breads and products as well as the addition of fruits and vegetables. The initiative, spearheaded by the Y in conjunction with the Healthier Middlesex (hospital) Coalition, was modeled after its successful Healthy Kids Camp project (see previous blogs).
The next steps on this project are as follows:
- Work with current volunteer leader in Piscataway Township to change concession stand food service.
- Research area school and recreational sports concession food and drink menus to improve to healthier food items sold at sporting events.
- Enroll additional groups that operate concession stands for greater impact.
- Host a concession operator training in fall 2019 with an exchange of ideas forum.
- Promote and distribute the Sugarfreed promotional materials to concession stand operators and food truck vendors
- Model healthy concessions by tabling at local events
Our volunteers have pledge to take action and educate others. By working together, the partnership can promote environmental and policy change, to help decrease the prevalence and severity of leading chronic health conditions affecting Middlesex County.
About the Grantee
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. To learn more about the Raritan Valley YMCA programs, health and wellness, visit www.raritanvalleyymca.org or call 732-257-4114. The Y is located at 144 Tices Lane in East Brunswick and serves 13 surrounding communities.